söndag 7 december 2008

Lucka 7

Books are standing counselors and preachers,
always at hand, and always disinterested;
having this advantage over oral
instructors, that they are ready to
repeat their lesson as often as we please.
0000000000000000000000 Oswald Chambers

Girl Writing by Lamplight, by William Henry Hunt, 1790-1864

Plain, unruled sheets, either white or light gray in color, and folding once into their envelopes are the approved materials for all social correspondence. Black ink should always be used – violet, blue or purple expresses extremely bad taste. There are, of course, manty varying qualities of note paper, depending entirely upon the means and preferences of the inilividual. Some manufacturers are to-day issuing delightful stationery in delicate tones of gray, blue and buff, and it is necessary to mention here that there can be no objection to note paper of this kind. It is only bad taste to use paper of vivid red, yellow or green – so glaring in color that it is conspicuous. Colored borders on stationery are in poor taste, as are also heavy gilt edges. Paneled stationery and that with the deckle edge are both very lovely and in excellent taste, if the color is subdued or pure white. And to be conspicuous is to be ill-bred.
The complete text of a formal note must appear on the first page only. Thus, a good size for a woman's social correspondence stationary is four and a half inches by six inches, although it may be slightly larger than that for general correspondence. Then there are the very small sheets used merely for a few words of condolence or congratulation. The size of stationery for men's social correspondence varies, but it is usually a trifle larger than a woman's note paper. A man never uses small sheets of paper, nor may he conduct social correspondence upon business or office paper. It is only when private stationery is not easily available, and a letter must be immediately mailed, that club or hotel paper may be used for social correspondence.
Letter paper and envelopes sbould be of the same color and of about the same material. We say "about" for, when the note paper is very thin, a slightly thicker paper should be used for the envelope. Incidentally, very thin paper is objectionable for social correspondence when both sides of the sbeet are written upon. Some women like to use perfumed paper for their social correspondence. While it is not exactly bad form to use perfumed stationery, a very strong fragrance is most objectionable. Thus only the most delicate of perfumes may be used. The use of perfumes for men's stationery is entirely discountenanced.

In these days, when daughter and grandmother enjoy the same entertainments, and attend the same affairs, the clothes of the elderly woman are just as important as those of the younger. We shall describe here several kinds of costumes that invariably add charm to old age, so that grandmother may appear to advantage beside the youthful bloom of the young girl. There is, for instance, the soft, wide lace fichu so becoming to the elderly woman – but that the young miss cannot very weIl wear. Combined with a dress of brocaded satin, with a full skirt that takes one back to the days of the Quakers, the lace fichu is most attractive. Then there is always the shadowy charm of black velvet and black lace. For the more formal occasions when the elderly woman wishes to be particularly well-dressed, yet not conspicuous, a dress of black velvet, with wide frilIs of black Chantilly lace, makes a most appropriate costume. The lace may be used to veil the skirt and as sleeves.
The elderly woman may choose any dark coIor that becomes her – gray, dark blue and black are perhaps the three colors most favored. There are several light coIors that are appropriate, chief among them, gray and lavendar. Materials worn by the woman-who-is older are taffeta, velvet, crepe-de-chine and satin. She should avoid such materiaIs as organdie, georgette and tulle – they are meant for youth.

With automobiling enjoying its present universal popularity, it is necessary to add a few paragraphs here regarding the correct automobile etiquette. For there is an etiquette of driving, and a very definite etiquette that must be followed by all who wish to be weIlbred.
First there are the rules by which the driver of the car must be governed. In busy city streets, where there are no traffic regulations to govern the reckless driver, one should drive slowly and cautiously. It is time enough to drive speedily when the open roads of the country are reached. But it is inconsiderate and selfish to speed one's car along streets where children are likely to dash unexpectedly in front of the car or where pedestrians are in danger of being thrown down. A very uncourteous and unkind habit is to sound one's horn wildly, for no other reason than to frighten less fortunate people who have to walk. The horn on the car should be used only to warn people out of the road, or when turning a dangerous corner. It should never be used to signal to a person that the car is waiting outside for her.
Care should be exercised in the seating arrangement. The courteous host and hostess take the seats in the center, leaving those on the outside for their guests.
It hardly seems necessary to warn the people who are out motoring, not to throw refuse from the car on to the road. Yet we often see paper bags and cigarette boxes hurtling through the air in the wake of some speeding car. This is as bad form as dropping a match-stick on the polished drawing-room floor of one's hostess or home.

Some hostesses plan motor trips for their guests. If it is to be a long trip, requiring an over-night stop at a hotel, the invitations must state clearly, but tactfully, whether they are to be guests throughout the trip, or only while in the motor. Ordinarily, the host and hostess pay all expenses incurred while on the trip.
Gentlemen do not enter the car until the ladies have been comfortably seated. Neither do they smoke in the car without asking permission to do so. A driver, whether he be the host himself or a hired chauffeur, should be sure that all the guests are comfortably seated before starting. And he should drive slowly to prevent the uncomfortable jolting that usually results when a car is driven at a great speed.
Hostesses often provide linen dusters and goggles for those of their guests who desire them. It is wise, also, to include a few motor blankets, in case the weather changes and the guests become chilly. A considerate host, or hostess, will see that the wind-shield, top and side-curtains are adjusted to the entire comfort of all the occupants of the car.
The dress for an automobile party is a sports suit of some serviceable material that will not show dust readily. The hat should be a small one that will not interfere with the wearer's comfort. In place of a suit one may wear a one-piece dress and a coat but one must never wear light or flimsy materials. If there is to be an overnight stop and one wishes to wear a dinner gown she must have it made of a stuff that will not wrinkle easily or she must be able to make arrangements to have it pressed.
When the car stops and the guests descend, the gentlemen should leave first and help the ladies to descend. If the party stops for refreshments, the chauffeur must not be forgotten. It is a slight that is as unforgivable and discourteous as omitting to serve a guest in one's dining-room. The chauffeur is as much entitled to courtesy as the other members of the party. Of course he does not expect to join the party at their table, nor does he care to eat with the servants of the hotel. The wisest plan is for him to be served in the regular dining-room of the hotel, but at another table except when the hotel has special arrangements to meet this condition.
It is always necessary to take the guests on an automobile party back to the place where they started from unIess it is distinctly understood from the beginning that some other plan is to be pursued. When planning a motor party consisting of two or more cars, the hostess should be sure to arrange her guests so that only congenial people will be in each car. It is never good form to crowd a car with more people than it can hold comfortably, except in an emergency.
"Careful driving" should be the watchword of everyone who owns a motor. Remember that the streets were not created merely for the owner of the automobile, but for the pedestrian as well.

From Book of Etiquette (1921) by Lillian Eichler

4 kommentarer:

  1. As always, Margretha, there are so many interesting things to read when I visit you. I love the quotes about reading, particularly the Andre Gide and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The paintings are always a delight.

    Many thanks.

  2. It's always nice when you can share favorite pictures and texts.

  3. I was taught those rules for letter-writing and I still keep them but most of the other aspects of early twentieth century etiquette had already been lost by the time I was born. I wonder if society would be happier if we still had clearly defined codes of behaviour? I dare say the past is always viewed through a rose tint and things changed because the rules were too restrictive. But it was interesting to get that glimpse of a more genteel age. Thank you.

  4. There will always be people revolting against rules - while others like to lean on them. I think we can be happy that most of the rules are history. But I think it is sad when you change things just because they are old - not because they need to be changed.
    And when it comes to handwritten letters - the few that are written - I think the number one rule is to write in a readable hand. Something that some people seem to forget. But what can you expect when kids never have to practice writing by hand these days.
    And I'm old-fashioned enough to dislike when people can't spell out a word or a sentence in a personal letter. How much time to you save by that?